Habas looks for a miracle as Materazzi seeks preservation

The variances in form and divergence in determination levels has come to influence the clashes between Atletico de Kolkata and Chennaiyin FC this season. ATK’s seasoned Spanish coach, Antonio Habas, realised this aspect when his team imploded against the robust football played by Marco Materazzi’s Chennaiyin FC in the first leg of the semi-final.

Habas may be ruing the element of complacency that may have crept into his boys, who had beaten the Chennaiyins on both the meetings in the league stage.   -  ISL Sportzpics

The variances in form and divergence in determination levels has come to influence the clashes between Atletico de Kolkata and Chennaiyin FC this season. ATK’s seasoned Spanish coach, Antonio Habas, realised this aspect when his team imploded against the robust football played by Marco Materazzi’s Chennaiyin FC in the first leg of the semi-final.

Habas may be ruing the element of complacency that may have crept into his boys, who had beaten the Chennaiyins on both the meetings in the league stage. The reality is that the 3-0 dominance that Chennaiyin enjoy with the win in the first leg will give it all the advantage making it a mountain to surmount for ATK. It goes without saying the host is virtually on the verge of losing the title as the resurgent Chennaiyin will be no mood to repeat the mistakes that became the story of ATK’s failure in the first leg.

Habas specified the condition of his team saying that only a “miracle” can save his team. He reiterated in the same breath that he and his boys will be aiming for some kind of a marvel to nix the three goal advantage that the visitor enjoys and force the match into extra-time. “We will have to play attack, attack and attack and hope for the margin that will get us through to the final,” Habas said.

But dampening Habas’ expectations was the news of injuries to his key players Spaniard Borja Fernandez and Botswana’s Oftense Nato. Portuguese World Cupper Helder Postiga has been warming the bench for long as the injury, which he recovered from after treatment back home, has not healed completely. Habas will have to look for two good replacements in the midfield if Fernandez and Nato, both of whom missed today’s practice, are ruled out on the day of the action.

Marco Materazzi looked a much relaxed man on the eve of the match. Knowing that only a draw is enough to seal the maiden final spot for the side, the Italian World Cup wining player said: “Tomorrow ATK will have to give something new and outstanding and we will have to do what we did in the first leg and get the best result.”

To top it up the Chennaiyins will have the full squad for selection with the return of the Brazilian play-maker Elano Blumer and Mehrajuddin Wadoo from suspension. Given all the advantages that favour Chennaiyin FC, the visitor will look to avenge the pervious defeat at the Salt Lake Stadium and reach the final preserving the momentum with a win.